Your Toddler Month by Month : 12–18 Months - Walking and Talking

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
Most children will take their first steps and say their first words during the next six months. It is an exciting time for both you and your toddler. Go at your toddler’s pace and resist making comparisons with other children; he will reach the same point as everyone else—in his own good time!

“All children develop at their own pace but, in general, most have a grasp of approximately 10 words by 15 months, 50 words by 20 months, and as many as 200 words by 24 months.”

“Jessica learning to talk has been so exciting and rewarding. A real person has begun to emerge.”

—“Jessica learning to talk has been so exciting and rewarding. A real person has begun to emerge.”

Toddlers are very determined. As well as crawling, toddling, and running, at this age your child will probably enjoy climbing into, under, and over all kinds of obstacles, as well as up and down stairs. This natural behavior will help strengthen muscles and improve coordination and balance.

How to encourage movement and learning:

  • Allow your child freedom to move. Go for daily walks with him—both indoors and outdoors. He is much closer to the ground than you, and so every step is a sensual adventure. Talk to him about the surroundings, pointing out colors, creatures, and objects.

  • Provide safe areas to play and wander, where your child can do no damage either to himself or your belongings.

  • Give plenty of praise while your child explores and make positive and encouraging comments to reinforce his understanding of his progress.

  • If you feel nervous while you watch his vulnerable wobbling, try to keep it to yourself. Tumbling over is inevitable, but he doesn’t have too far to fall and once he is comforted, without too much fuss, the experience will encourage him to keep trying and he will learn from his mistakes.

Useful props

A toddler truck that is pushed along is an ideal toy for this age group. Although beginning to find her feet gives her greater independence, your toddler will still need constant adult supervision.

Essential balance

Learning how to balance is a vital skill that we have to learn, beginning in the womb. It is controlled via the body’s balancing mechanism, known as the vestibular system. This is one of the first systems of the body to develop as we move and turn around in the womb. It helps us to understand where we are in relation to the things around us: for example, we can tell how far away a chair is from us so we don’t fall over or bump into it, and we know how big we are in relation to the objects around us, so, for example, we know whether we will fit through a doorway. Until the vestibular system is fully developed, the other sensory systems will not develop fully either. All the sensory systems need to be integrated for development of the “higher” systems to take place, such as thought and understanding (cognition) and the ability to control behavior. An undersensitive balance system leads to clumsiness; an oversensitive one leads to motion problems, such as motion sickness.

As anyone who has ever watched a small child learning to walk will have witnessed, balance takes time to perfect. Childhood activities such as swinging, bouncing, and rocking, and other forms of repetitive movement, are all beneficial in helping to develop the vestibular system. It may help to remind yourself of that when your toddler next jumps up and down on a bed or sofa! It drives development of movement, head position, eye movement, coordination, and body awareness. Encouraging your child to do movement activities will stimulate the development of balance and help him learn to focus. Signs that the vestibular system is still developing include: squirming or rocking excessively at the table, a need to run around continuously, “hyper” activity and an inability to focus or concentrate. Most of these types of behavior are normal and not a cause for concern, unless they persist beyond the toddler years. The balance mechanism has usually developed by the time a child is 12 months old but, in some, will continue to be developed through play, and through learning to be calm and to concentrate.

Learning to balance

A toy such as a rocking horse is great fun for a toddler and it will help him develop his ability to balance. Some ride-on toys can also be propelled along.

Learning to talk

Your baby started to communicate from the moment he was born, and by 12 months will be able to show you what he wants by pointing and gesturing. However, it is learning to talk that marks a true transition from babyhood to childhood. First words will be very simple and will usually involve a person (me, Daddy), an object (cup, bed) or an action (bye-bye, go), and over the next few months many children will build a vocabulary of some 20–50 words. By the time he reaches his first birthday, your toddler will be able to make himself understood verbally to some degree.

The way in which he discovers words will be largely accidental, but very exciting for you as a parent, nonetheless. He will be able to understand many more words that he can say and will start to understand and respond to simple instructions.

It is common at this stage for toddlers to use the same word to mean several different things: for example, the word “cat” may be used to mean any animal; the word “hot” could be used to mean “it is hot” or “I don’t like it” or “make it cooler.” This stage will continue for several more months. Don’t worry if his words are unclear or imprecise to begin with—that will improve in time.

Learning to talk is very rewarding for toddlers since being understood removes a lot of frustration, so there is plenty of incentive for them to pick up new words and meanings quite fast. Giving your child plenty of smiles and positive feedback when he uses words will encourage him further and help him to see that talking is fun.

Tuning in to your toddler:
  • Tune into his style of speech and pay attention to his tone of voice. You can often tell more about what he is trying to say by noting the rise and fall of his voice.

  • Show excitement and exaggerate your responses, so that your child picks up the cadence of the words more easily.

  • Watch his body language. What is he looking at while babbling? Is he making any gestures, such as pointing or smiling? Well over 70 percent of the messages we give out are nonverbal. What else is your child saying?

  • Keep talking to him. The more people speak to your toddler, the more language he will learn. Get down to his level and make good eye contact while speaking. Language is learned not only by listening to the words, but also by absorbing the tone of voice, facial expression, mood, and emotion.

  • Sing songs, tell stories and jokes, make up silly rhymes, and use nursery rhymes with actions.

  • Match your mood, facial expression, and body language to his, as this will echo back to him that you understand his feelings. This means he is less likely to become either frustrated or withdrawn. For example, if he is happy and excited, show him that you are happy and excited, too.

  • Give him time to respond. Leaving pauses will encourage your child to speak and learn to use language to tell you what he wants to do. For example, if you are tickling him, wait for a sign from him to “do it again.” This also means you won’t continue something he wants to stop.

  • Have patience with your toddler’s love of repetition! It’s all bedding down in the brain.

How language develops

Babies develop the ability to understand single words in the first few months of life, but won’t be able to speak until thinking and reasoning skills have developed and the vocal system, including the vocal cords, have matured. An important part of language development is the experimental sounds a baby makes since these exercise the vocal cords and encourage the brain to use and recognize sounds.

Children have an innate ability to distinguish sound patterns and word use in any language. They will learn the sounds and rules of the languages to which they are most exposed.

  • 1 month

    Reflexive and reactive noises, such as coughing, sneezing, and crying.

  • 2-4 months

    Cooing and laughing, often in response to someone.

  • 4-6 months

    Babbling, making experimental noises, and the development of muscles and skills that move and co-ordinate the mouth and tongue. All babies go through these first three stages, but will need external input after six months.

  • 6-10 months

    Babbling becomes more wordlike and babies need plenty of chat and interaction to ensure ongoing language development; without these, language development will slow down and then eventually stop. It is at this stage that child deafness may first be detected.

  • 10-12 months

    By 12 months, your baby will have started to use sounds and different levels of pitch to express meaning—for example, a higher pitch to express surprise or a question.

Top search
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Balancing Life for the Adults : Making Sure You Don't Get Lost in the Kids
- Balancing Life for the Adults : Leading the Way for the Rest of the Family
- Preteens the Middle Years : Making the Transition Starting middle school
- Teens Becoming an Adult : Moving on to Responsibility The world of work
- Your Toddler Month by Month : 12–18 Months - Your Toddler’s Development
- Your Toddler Month by Month : 12–18 Months - Your Amazing Toddler
- Teens Becoming an Adult : Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll When to worry (part 2)
- Teens Becoming an Adult : Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll When to worry (part 1)
- 0-6 Months: Your New Baby and You - A New Mom’s Diet (part 2)
- 0-6 Months: Your New Baby and You - A New Mom’s Diet (part 1)
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- 5 Ways to Support Your Baby Development
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain